Close to 2,200 households removed from 4Ps list in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and development (DSWD) in Region 12 has delisted nearly 2,200 households this year from the beneficiary list of the flagship conditional cash transfer program due to eligibility problems.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said Friday they removed the beneficiaries from their database as they no longer have family members who are qualified to avail of the assistance program.

A boy tries to catch fish in the pond on which their house in Cotabato City stands. The 4Ps aims to benefit Filipinos categorized as “poorest of the poor.” MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

She said they also found some names who had double entries in their database and were immediately removed.

The official said the delisted beneficiaries were no longer receiving direct cash assistance from the initiative, which is also known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.

“This is part of the continuing cleansing of our database of ineligible beneficiaries and our efforts to further strengthen its implementation in the region,” she said.

Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

But DSWD-12’s operational jurisdiction includes Marawi City, which is part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Citing their records, Taha said the delisted beneficiaries reached a total of 2,135 out of the 231,137 covered by the regular 4Ps.

She said they also purged 36 of the 22,894 households under the expanded or modified 4Ps in the region.

4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to “poorest of the poor” households to improve their health, nutrition and education.

It provides beneficiaries cash grants of P500 a month for health and nutrition expenses and P300 a month per child for educational expenses, as well as P600 in monthly rice subsidy.

The modified program covers families and children who are in difficult situations and those in “pockets of poverty” not covered by the regular 4Ps.

These are families that are either homeless or stay in the streets where they earn their living, indigenous peoples migrant families, victims of disasters and those in need of special protection like families with children who were abused, abandoned, exploited and orphaned.

Taha assured that they are continually finding ways to improve the implementation of 4Ps and ensure that its intended benefits will reach the “poorest of the poor” households.

She cited the continuing rollout of the Sustainable Livelihood Program component, which was launched to help beneficiaries get into sustainable livelihood activities.

“We are working on how our beneficiaries can get jobs aside from the financial assistance. That’s the reason why we have livelihood trainings for them,” Taha said.

She said some of the beneficiaries want to land permanent jobs or go into viable livelihood ventures so they can eventually stand on their own.

Along with the 4Ps and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or Kalahi-CIDSS, the SLP forms part the three-pronged anti-poverty convergence programs of the national government implemented through the DSWD.

In Region 12, the DSWD has allotted around P300 million for the implementation of the SLP. (MindaNews)